This interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from a pet form of the medieval female given name "Ibb", a shortened form of "Isabel(le)". Isabel is by origin a variant of "Elizabeth", a name which owed its popularity in medieval Europe to the fact that it was borne by John the Baptist's mother. The original form of the name was the Hebrew "Elisheva", "my God (is my) oath". The form Isabella originated in Spain, and was introduced in this form into France in the 13th Century, from where it was brought to England.There it achieved considerable popularity, and has led to the formation of the surnames Hibb, Ibbs, Ibson and Lebby. Libby itself is chiefly associated with the Devonshire region. One John, son of Libbe, appears in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield (Yorkshire) in 1298, and John Libb is listed in the Register of the University of Oxford of 1506. Other early examples include: Susanna Libbie, who married Richard Mansfield on September 7th 1577, in London; John Liby, who married Phillipe Burt on June 18th 1606, at Yealmpton, Devonshire; and the marriage of John Libby and Abbigail Harris on November 6th 1666, at Plymouth, Devonshire. The family Coat of Arms depicts on an ermine shield a silver lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Lybbe, a chaplain, which was dated 1506, in the "Register of the University of Oxford", during the reign of King Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor", 1485 - 1509. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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